It’s Groundhog Day in NYC and throughout the country! Staten Island Chuck made his prediction and the results are in: He did not see his shadow this morning, meaning we will have an early spring in NYC.
According to tradition, if a groundhog sees his shadow upon waking up on Groundhog Day, there will be six more weeks of winter weather. If he doesn’t see it, spring will come early.
Chuck made his prediction after emerging adorably from his den at the Staten Island Zoo, West Brighton, during a ceremony live streamed from the zoo’s Facebook page. Human officials at the event included zoo director Ken Mitchell, Council Members Kamillah Hanks and David Carr, Staten Island District Attorney Michael McMahon and Ed Burke, senior advisor to SI Borough President Vito Fossella.
Mayor Eric Adams did not attend the event, but sent in a video message to Chuck and his fans.
“Staten Island Chuck isn’t just a furry forecaster, he’s also a teacher, inspiring thousands of NYC kids to learn more about the real science of weather,” Adams said during the video.
Speaking of which, Staten Island’s Wagner High School has a new outdoor weather station. Using some cool technology, students will now be able to help confirm the accuracy of Chuck’s prediction this year.
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Groundhog Day in NYC
Groundhogs have been predicting the weather from the Staten Island Zoo since 1981. And Chuck has an impressive accuracy rate, being right 80% of the time! That’s a better number than his main rival across state lines, Punxsutawney Phil of Pennsylvania, who has a mere 39% accuracy rate when it comes to his Groundhog Day predictions.
McMahon added insult to injury by throwing some “digs” at Phil during the ceremony.
“Chuck is one of the many things we’re proud of on Staten Island. The zoo and so many other things. The wonderful people and diverse community that makes it so strong. And that’s in contrast to that piker from Pennsylvania, Punxsutawney Phil, who really doesn’t know what he’s talking about. We don’t know why people talk about him,” McMahon said.
Neighboring groundhogs in Long Island, Holtsville Hal and Malverne Mel are going through some drama of their own this morning. Like last year, the two groundhogs delivered conflicting predictions about the weather.
The History of Groundhog Day
A North American tradition derived from Pennsylvania Dutch communities, Groundhog Day is when some of the most adorable meteorologists in town—groundhogs—tell us what kind of weather to expect in the coming weeks.
The earliest Groundhog Day celebrations in the country started in Pennsylvania in the late 1800s. Groundhog Day is a major event each year in Punxsutawney, with celebrations occurring throughout the week, including a groundhog ball, banquet, talent show and more.
Main image photo credit Staten Island Zoo
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